An agent who kept a tenant a cooped up in a tiny room behind a kitchen has been ordered to pay more than £32,000 in court.
Ms Viviane Almeida, of Falcondale Court, Lakeside Drive in Park Royal pleaded guilty to breaching HMO licensing conditions, including failing to comply with the council's amenity and space standards as well as obstructing the council's investigation, in Willesden Magistrates Court.
She ignored warnings from enforcement officers that a room behind the kitchen was not safe to rent out because it was a fire hazard. The room in a converted three bedroom property in Redfern Road, Harlesden, also measured less than 6.5 square metres - the minimum legal requirement for a single bedroom.
Cllr Eleanor Southwood, Cabinet Member for Housing and Welfare Reform, said: "Housing tenants in rooms that are too small and hazardous to fire risks is illegal. There's no excuse for it. Landlords, agencies or subletters who exploit tenants will pay heavily in court. Every resident in Brent has the right to a decent standard of living."
Ms Almieda, whose agency My London Services Ltd is based in Furness Road, Willesden, was handed a £30,000 fine plus £2,090 in court costs and a £170 victim
surcharge on 11 September 2018.
From October 1, any property that is rented out to five or more people who are not all related will require a mandatory licence.
If you are a Brent landlord who lets out shared accommodation, you can apply for a licence online at www.brent.gov.uk/prslicensing
If you suspect that someone is renting out an unlicensed property in Brent, please report them anonymously at www.brent.gov.uk/reportaproperty